A British newsreel view of India

British Pathé newsreels were famously shown in cinemas prior to a featured film and the company kept churning them out, despite the inescapable threat from television, until 1976.

Last month the entire British Pathé archive was uploaded to YouTube and the UK’s historic ties to India ensure the country makes a number of appearances in the 85,000 film collection.

Among the 3,500 hours of video you can find footage of India’s Independence Day, Gandhi’s funeral, a 1962 report on India’s capture of Goa from Portugal and this film of 1960s Bombay (as it isn’t known now).

Kolkata, as it wasn’t know then, also features in films such as Communist strike fails in Calcutta and Poverty in India, not to mention one of the many, many ‘public figure X comes to place Y’ films – in this case Pandit Nehru visits Calcutta.


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